Ahad Ha-Am’s life was neither eventful nor fruitful in practical achievement, and it might be thought that his personality and the events of his life are without interest or importance, seeing that his teaching, which is what really matters, can be distilled from his written work. That idea fits in with his own insistence on hiding his individuality behind a very impersonal pseudonym, and on main...
Leon Simon ---
Sir Leon Simon, C.B. was born at Southampton (England) in 1881 and educated at Manchester Grammar School and Oxford. After graduating in “Greats” in 1904, he entered the British Civil Service and served in the General Post Office until his retirement in 1944 after attaining the rank of Director. After his retirement he was for some years Chairman of the Executive Council of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and is still a member of the University’s Board of Governors. His Zionist activity began over half-a-century ago, and he was among the original members of the Zionist Commission to Palestine in 1918; but his main interest has been in the cultural aspect of Jewish nationalism, and particularly in the Hebrew revival. A disciple of Ahad Ha-Am since his student days, and a personal friend from 1908 onwards, he has published three volumes of translations of Ahad Ha-Am’s writings, and is joint author of the Hebrew biography of him published in 1956.
The author’s other publications include Studies in Jewish Nationalism (1920) and a Hebrew volume of Essays on Ancient Greek Literature (1951), as well as translations into Hebrew of John Stuart Mill’s essay on Liberty, and of several of Plato’s Dialogues for which he received the Tchernichowsky prize.
A high seriousness and sense of responsibility were among his outstanding characteristics. He was the typical talmid hakham, for whom time not spent in study or in some other purposeful pursuit is time wasted. He was entirely innocent of self-importance or pomposity, but had none the less a strong sense of personal dignity, and he expected from others the same respectful treatment which he invariably accorded to them. His sensitiveness on this point showed itself particularly in his dread of ri...
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